• By The Financial District


Hundreds of police fanned out across Vienna, searching for perpetrators of attacks that left five people dead in the city’s center, after what a government minister said was an “Islamist terrorist” incident.

In an early morning televised news conference, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer repeated calls for the public to stay off the streets, Francois Murphy, Michael Shields, Silke Koltrowitz and Andrea Shalal reported for Reuters.

Nehammer said police had shot to death one attacker, a man wearing an explosives belt that turned out to be fake, whom authorities have identified as an Islamic State (IS) sympathizer. Police confirmed on Tuesday that three civilians - two men and a woman - were killed in the attacks, with at least 15 others wounded, including a police officer. Broadcaster ORF later said a fourth civilian, a woman, had died. Seven of the injured were in a life-threatening condition, the APA news agency said.

The editor of Vienna’s Falter newspaper said in Twitter messages that the assailant who was killed was known to domestic intelligence agencies. The Vienna attacker was born and raised in the city, newspaper editor says. The 20-year-old had Albanian roots but was born and raised in Vienna, the editor said. He was one of 20 Austrian Islamists who had wanted to travel to Syria, the editor added. The assailant killed by police, and other potential gunmen, attacked six locations in central Vienna on Monday evening, starting outside the main synagogue.